Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Sport Sciences

First Advisor

Courtney Jensen

First Committee Member

Mark Van Ness

Second Committee Member

Sharon West-Sell

Third Committee Member

Allen Wong


The purpose of this thesis is to determine what effects draft order, monetary earnings, and Tommy John Surgery (TJS) have on the perceived value of a pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB). For the context of this thesis, value will be defined as a player's ability to contribute to their team's wins in a positive manner. TJS has become synonymous with MLB and baseball as a sport, and many are either skeptical of its effects or over-assuming of its benefits. The three aforementioned areas of concerns were used to structure the thesis, as each dependent outcome is analyzed in a chapter of its own. Multiple articles and studies pertaining to the effects draft order, financial earnings, and TJS may have on pitcher value were compiled and analyzed. Looking at studies between pitchers who underwent TJS prior to being drafted, their order by which they are picked by a team is not as affected as assumed, but the pitcher is more likely to return to the disabled/injured list during their career in MLB. A lens of economic value saw that pitchers who were paid more added to their teams' respective wins. However, the financial loss caused by a pitcher missing time to recover from TJS could outweigh the cost of wins. From a purely Tommy-John standpoint, there are significant changes both beneficial and detrimental to a pitcher's overall statistics. Further research and personal knowledge should be explored prior to receiving TJS as a pitcher. Overall, the factor of TJS seems to have a slightly negative influence on the other two factors and an overall stronger influence than draft order or monetary earnings.





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